1 Thessalonians

Letter to a Thriving Church

He Is Faithful

November 21, 2021 • Colton Underwood • 1 Thessalonians 5:23–28

Once you know that Christ has set you free from slavery to sin, you’ll come to realize that true beauty, true worth, is only found when we take hold of his instructions, take hold of the call of sanctification and pursue it with courage and by his power. Only then does the law which once condemned become a guide to life. You’re not saved by your works, thank God, but he has saved you to work by his grace and his power. God’s will is for you to be holy, but take heart: He is faithful. He will surely do it.

A List for Life

November 14, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 5:12–22

Ten meaningful steps you should use to cooperate and participate in what God wants to do in your life. But in the end, this is more God’s work than our work. May he keep on with the process of making you like Christ. That’s sanctification, the holy-making of his people. May God work the gospel through you thoroughly. You have lots to do to work with him in this. But ultimately, this is God’s deal. He has undertaken to save you. He has undertaken to bring you to himself. He has undertaken to use you in his mission to the world. He has undertaken to make you like Christ, a son or daughter formed in his beloved Son. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it!

Children of the Day

November 7, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

If you have entrusted yourself to Christ the light, you are children of the light and of the day. He has awakened you. Perhaps he is calling you awake this very moment. Calling you back from darkness. Calling you out of the night. The dungeon doors are open. Light is shining. Won’t you get up and go to him? Trust that it is worth it to leave the smothering dark and fly into his arms. Take up anew the call to live awake and engaged as children of the light. Get up and come to Christ the light of the world.

He's Coming Back!

October 31, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

"So we will always be with the Lord." How do you feel about that? How do you feel about being gathered from wherever you are to meet the Lord in his triumphant return? How do you feel about being in his presence always? Do you long to be gathered in his arms? Do you thrill to seeing all things ordered and arranged around the rule of our King Jesus? Are you eager for him to return to set all things right? How do you feel that Paul says, “we,” not “I,” will be with the Lord? Not the “we” of just my favorites, but the we of all who are joined to Jesus, the whole church universal. Does this vision attract you or repel you? Do you trust Jesus to set all things as they should be? Do you long to be with him? This reality calls to you. The fact of his return gave the Scots Presbyterians courage to face every enemy, to recreate a nation. It inspired them to holiness and to hope. Are you with them?

Walking to Please God

October 24, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson

Do you want the vision of possessing your body in dignity and holiness, in clean forgiveness and integrity? Do you want the vision of living quietly, working for a living and living within your means? Reach out to Christ Jesus. Confess your sin and ask forgiveness: he will restore you. Offer your life to him to live a different way. He will lead you. Call one of your pastors or church leaders. Let’s talk it through. Let’s rejoin the community of abounding love that bears witness to the God of overflowing grace and new beginnings.

Overjoyed by Good News

October 17, 2021 • Rev. Whitney Alexander • 1 Thessalonians 3:6–13

How does someone else's faith and love for Christ make us live for him? To help new believers grow in their faith, we must consistently pray for their spiritual growth.

I Just Had to Know

October 10, 2021 • 1 Thessalonians 3:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20

Paul’s passion for his Thessalonians has raised some important questions for us. Have we accounted for the reality of the Evil One as we conduct our lives? What are we planning to offer before the Throne of Christ? And are we living with real gospel expectations of what life in the world for Christ’s people will be like? Right answers to these questions directly open us to abundant joy, a vivid life, full of love and hope that does not disappoint.

The Word at Work

October 3, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 2:13–16

There is a profound mystery going on when someone tells us the story of Jesus in their own words. We hear it from their voice. Maybe they tell it simply, or haltingly, or even with some parts missing. But as they speak we hear another voice. The voice of God speaks in our hearts. Something resounds inside us. The Spirit moves us. We find we believe. As we believe, energy and joy flow inside us. Something changes within us. This is the consistent experience of Christian believers through the centuries across cultures and continents.

Sharing Our Lives

September 26, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12

God sent a great earthquake, which shook the prison to its foundation. The doors flew open and their bonds released. But Paul and Silas did not immediately flee the jail. They waited to meet the jailer. He was terrified at what would happen to him if his prisoners escaped. Paul shared with him the gospel, and the jailer became a believer. That night the very essence of the church of Jesus Christ was revealed. Two washings occurred. In love and gratitude for his newfound salvation, the jailer washed the wounds of Paul and Silas. And Paul washed the jailer and his whole family by baptizing them, symbolically joining them to Jesus and his cleansing of our sins. So a picture of the church of Jesus came into focus: we are a wound-washing community. We wash minds and bodies broken in so many tragic ways. In the power of the Spirit, we wash dirty souls with the gospel news of Christ’s forgiveness and grace.

How You Turned to God

September 19, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson • 1 Thessalonians 1:6–10

The deal with idols is that they always disappoint. And then, even as they are disappointing us, they demand payment. Ask the addict; the pain pills slave. Or the woman who idolized the power of her youth beauty and now sees it fade. Or the man who traded his family for the once in a lifetime opportunity, again and again. Or ask the couples who looked to each other for all meaning and purpose. Then, the honeymoon ended and all they see in each other’s eyes is disappointment. Idols always, always disappoint. Christ wants to be paired with us. But he won’t let us sync up with him until we disconnect with our idols. We can’t have it both ways.

A Letter from Paul

September 12, 2021 • Gerrit Dawson, Kevin McCarter • 1 Thessalonians

The church in Thessalonica was only a few months old. Paul had been forced to leave the city before he had taught them and led them into maturity. In a city of 100,000 or more people, there were perhaps only a hundred Christians. Thessalonica was a harbor town. And a trading town. All the vices were in full bloom: sex trade, gambling, swindling, drugs. All kinds of pagan religious practices appeared much more dramatic and interesting than the quiet services of the Christians. Their families would have thought they had gone weird on them. They could so easily have been sucked back into their old lives. The Thessalonians longed for encouragement and direction. Paul could not re-enter the city. So after he heard that they were still meeting, still pursuing Christ, he wrote them.